Bloomberg News

LONDON — Barclays Capital Group faces a tougher second half as slowing economies curb demand for debt products and takeover activity remains sluggish, said its chief executive, Bob Diamond.

Still, the investment banking unit of Britain’s third-largest banking company could continue to add as many as 700 employees a year, Mr. Diamond said in an interview. In the current quarter, he said, Barclays Capital has had “the strongest pipeline we’ve ever seen in capital raising.”

The unit’s operating profit rose 22% in the first half, to $539 million, and profits from interest income and dealing offset a fall in fees from advisory services.

Matthew Barrett, the chief executive officer of Barclays PLC, doused speculation that he may expand the investment banking unit by acquiring a rival. “We are not in the market for buying an equities business,” he said at a press conference Thursday. “We will continue our organic growth in the debt market."

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